My FIL, who lives with us, has been refusing meds like blood thinners (he has congestive heart failure and a-fib), beta blockers, blood pressure and an antibiotic for cellulitis and a severe infection in his teeth and jaw. He repeatedly says that he would much rather die than take meds. He insists that we're poisoning him and trying to kill him. His ankle was swelling and painful (cellulitis) again and he asked to go to the hospital, we saw his PCP Monday and, naturally, they told him he had to take his meds. But, he still refused. Yesterday, he also had to go for a CT scan of his head, and he kept trying to jump out of the car. So, we finally called his bluff and hubby took him to the ED last night. They ended up admitting him to Behavioral Health since he was a threat to himself. He told the Psychiatrist that my hubby puts saltpeter in his soda. I don't even know what saltpeter is! Anyway, I'm feeling pretty guilty for him being stuck in the psychiatric unit. Anyone else experience this?
About saltpeter, it's used for many things, but the myth is that it's also put into Army food to diminish sexual urges of the population of young, virile men, per my 20 year Army man stepdad (1922-2005). Stepdad thought it was true, and honestly, I do not know. If the FIL is of a certain age and heard this story, then maybe he's blaming the effects of aging on the sex drive on an agent such as saltpeter. I might be way off in this train of thought! But saltpeter in the soda is a strange accusation.
Some meds also cause constipation and a general lethargic feeling. What’s the end result? You live longer and feel worse. It’s understandable why the aging don’t want to take them. The end is going to come anyways. No one should be forced to take medication.
Saltpeter is the natural mineral source of the chemical potassium nitrate, KNO3. Depending on where you live, it may be spelled "saltpetre" rather than 'saltpeter'. Before systematic naming of chemicals, saltpeter was called nitrate of potash. It has also been called 'Chinese salt' or 'Chinese snow'. (Potash was used during WWII for ammunitions and bombs. We had a bomb manufacturer in town during WWII and it was on "Potash Road". 🎇)
Saltpeter is a common food preservative and additive, fertilizer, and oxidizer for fireworks and rockets. It is one of the principal ingredients in gunpowder. (I think that this is what your FIL was referring to when he said that your "hubby puts saltpeter in his soda"--he meant that your husband put gunpowder in his soda--to kill him.)
Potassium nitrate is used to treat asthma and in topical formulations for sensitive teeth. It was once a popular medication for lowering blood pressure. Saltpeter is a component of condensed aerosol fire suppression systems, salt bridges in electrochemistry, heat treatment of metals, and for thermal storage in power generators.
My Mom was hospitalized for back pain and refused to eat, drink, get out of bed, etc. because of Major Depression with Delusions in May 2017. She was depressed because most of her friends had died and her younger brother died in March 2017 and her older sister died in April 2017. She was transferred to the nursing home after two weeks and refused to do anything for almost 4 months until a niece came to visit and watch the Solar Eclipse with us in August 2017. Mom "perked up" then, but she still had delusions and her mental thinking was impaired.
I'll write more later, I need to go to a doctor's appt. 😡
Currently, we feel that my uncle is on a spiral down. It may be the affect of the massive amounts of medicines and the hospital staff trying to find the best “mix” for him, or it may be the fact that he was already physically declining—he is 91 and has had major heart surgery and lives with heart and lung conditions. He had been in another facility a year ago, and I’m not sure what medications from that stay were still being administered at the Assisted Living. Apparently they were not working since he went “ballistic” last week when the police tried to return him to the facility.
I do agree that people with mental health issues need skilled help. It is difficult to see your loved one going through these health complications. I have to trust that my uncle is getting the much needed care that his body has been missing for months. The other option could have been that he wandered out of the facility and ended up dead on the side of the street or in a vacant lot.
When/if he returns to the Assisted Living facility where he was living, he will be placed in the Memory Care unit. I am hoping that the care-givers (not necessarily RN's) will be able to handle him and keep him taking the medications that his body desperately needs.
Hugs to your family. This is not easy, but keep apprised of his mental/medical condition and if you have questions, ask the professionals, if they can’t or won’t take the time to answer them, you may need to find another place for his care. Please don’t try to do it at home!
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